Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.
stargazer, monkfish, southern stargazer
Stargazers are not the prettiest fish in the sea. They have eyes located on the top of their large, a squarish head and a wide, upturned mouth filled with fine teeth along backward pointing jaws designed not to allow prey to escape. Common stargazers are grey-brown across the back and white underneath. They have no scales, two large black bands across their back and large pectoral fins with white margins.
This fish’s appearance is quite unattractive leading some people to consider them unappetising. If you return them to the water, take care because of their spines and teeth. Cut the line if captured on rod and line. If caught in a gillnet, try rolling the fish out of the net whilst it is still in the water.
Found in inshore waters right around Tasmania in depths up to 60 metres, including estuaries and bays. They are rarely seen by divers due to their habit of burying themselves in the sand waiting to ambush any edible fish that comes by. Found mostly over sand and seagrass meadows.
Can be caught on rod and line using whole fish baits and soft plastic lures when fishing off beaches. Occasionally caught in gillnets. They eat fish and other food items that are nearly as big as themselves, providing it can fit in their mouths.
Stargazers have two poisonous spines located at the top and back of their gill covers and a powerful set of jaws with raked back teeth, so keep hands away from the head area.
These fish are good eating producing two large, round, white boneless fillets. The flesh is firm with a mild flavour so is good used in curries, stews and soups.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550